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FALL 2010 Indiana State Bar Association Young Lawyers Section Chair’s Message: My 5 challenges to young lawyers BY MICHAEL J. JASAITIS T he Indiana State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section (YLS) remains dedicated to its steadfast commitment of providing opportunities and assistance to new lawyers in the practice of law. As of October 2010, I have the distinct honor of serving YOU as chair of the YLS and I look forward to leading this group of 2,400+ young lawyers. Having participated in the YLS for the past six years, I am excited about the new opportunities that lay ahead. The YLS has historically been the largest and most active of the ISBA sections, oftentimes being referred to as the “service arm” of the ISBA. In spite of the fact that we offer exclusive low rates to law students and free membership to all new admittees, many young and new attorneys around the state are unaware that they qualify for YLS membership. I encourage you to help spread the word about the benefits of becoming an active member of the YLS. As your chair, I want to see more young lawyers across the state get involved in the YLS. Now more than ever, it is important to take advantage of what the YLS has to offer and cash in on the benefits such as its substantive e-discussion list, invaluable networking opportunities and lifelong relationships with Indiana’s leading legal professionals. We may not have the battle scars of our more experienced colleagues, but we still have the ability to leave our mark on the legal community. Whether you practice in Indianapolis or in rural areas of the state, I want to encourage you to leave your positive mark in the legal realm over the course of this next year. To that end, here are five opportunities for you to get involved and make the most of your YLS membership: Participate on the YLS e-discussion list Perhaps one of the most helpful benefits of being a member of the YLS is its electronic mailing list, which offers an efficient way to disseminate information and a way to find answers to your most nagging questions as a new lawyer. A successful e-discussion list depends entirely on information sharing and participation from all of its members. You will create invaluable connections with other lawyers around the state and possibly get your next client referral. If you are currently a ISBA launches new and improved Mentor Match program BY REYNOLD T. BERRY I t is always challenging to make the transition from law school to practice, but it seems especially difficult during these changing times. New lawyers are entering perhaps the most challenging economic environment. Those who have been practicing for a few years not only face stiff competition, but also must grapple with the rapidly changing legal landscape as they plot a course with their life in the law. During these times, the benefits of having a mentor are invaluable. Young lawyers must connect early in their careers to ensure that they are prepared for the responsible practice of law and are committed to professionalism. The Indiana State Bar Association (ISBA) officially launched its Mentor Match program with its new curriculum at the 2010 Annual Meeting. This new curriculum is in response to Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard’s decision to allow mentors and mentees to earn Continuing Legal Education (CLE) hours for a mentoring relationship using an approved curriculum, as well as a statement that we as a profession believe that mentoring is important. “We learn a lot in law school of course, but we learn member of the YLS and would like to subscribe to the YLS e-discussion list, please e-mail Carissa Long at clong@inbar. org. If you have unsubscribed in the past, please give it another shot and subscribe today! Volunteer for a community service project While I am no JFK, his suggestion to citizens that you should “ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country,” can be carried over to all service projects regardless of their size and complexity. Whether your local bar sponsors a project or you volunteer for a statesponsored service event, your time spent assisting others speaks loud to not only your peers and mentors, but to those outside the legal community. As chair of the YLS, I plan to coordinate new service projects to provide you with opportunities to sometimes it’s in very informal ways like just watching how other lawyers practice.” The Mentor Match program for young lawyers has undergone many educate the youth in our state and to serve our elders (more details available soon). Also, I encourage you to participate in our annual, statewide Law Day celebration on May 1, 2011. Since 1957, the YLS has sponsored this community outreach program that provides attorneys the chance to step out of their office and into the classroom and/or community. This year’s theme, provided by the American Bar Association, is “The Legacy of John Adams, From Boston to Guantanamo.” As one of my undergrad roommates often said, “Leadership is action, not position.” Serving the public in these capacities will go a long way to improve the public image of lawyers in this state. Attend an ISBA event As noted previously, your attendance at ISBA-sponsored events offers invaluable networking opportunities and (continued on page 2) proposed that a structured mentoring program approved by the Commission could satisfy the Applied Professionalism Program (APP) required for all newly admitted Indiana attorneys. “We learn a lot in law school of course, but we learn a lot more over time from each other,” said Chief Justice Shepard. “Sometimes we learn in formal ways like continuing legal education, and sometimes it’s in very informal ways like just watching how other lawyers practice.” a lot more over time from each other,” said Chief Justice Shepard. “Sometimes we learn in formal ways like continuing legal education, and developments since its inception in 2005. In October 2009, the Indiana Supreme Court Commission for Continuing Legal Education Further, the Commission offered that up to 12 CLE hours (to include up to 3 ethics hours) would be available to the mentors who (continued on page 2)

YLS Network Fall 2010

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